Potty training is just as weird as it seems. And even though it’s going relatively well in our household, it’s still making my kid a little cray. I am so amazingly glad we waited until she was ready, which is seriously 90% of the battle. She doesn’t fight us on it, but there is a strong learning curve, and the fact that she is working so hard to poop and pee in a toilet instead of just whenever/whereever in her diaper is all she can really handle right now. She’s like, “Don’t come at me, woman! Don’t ask me to share, or not run away from you, or stop dance-eating. I need to be free! I will shit all over this place!”
And I am trying to be so chill about everything. Olive has learned the phrase, “No big deal” from me, which she intones with a sassy hand wave.
I am attempting to be calm and non-reactive while I clean up piss from her little chair where she eats, when I suspect she’s taking a dump in her undies at the park and rush her into the bathroom, when I’m trying to coax her up the stairs to our apartment to potty before she goes all over the foyer.
But I am losing the battle.
I’m talking through gritted teeth, ingesting way more sugar/caffiene/alcohol than usual, and also doing a lot more yoga (ew).
Talking to Olive’s godmama, Fabienne, who just happens to teach Family Studies at NYU, gave me a great perspective on the whole thing: I am trying to say, “No big deal” to something that is a big fucking deal. It’s a huge developmental change. Recognizing that, and making space for the fact that that is going to effect Olive’s behavior in other areas is going to help me feel less like a failure of a mom and more like a human, who is helping another very small human do something new and big.
So, while I am still attempting to be non-reactive when Olive has accidents, to do my breathing when she’s extra defiant, and to roll with what this season of life is bringing me, I’m also embracing that this is a big period of transition. My two-year-old is learning something huge, how to connect what is happening in her body to an outward response, and I need to create space for that. So, we forewent our usual big outings this week. We kept to our neighborhood, and ended up having some really sweet experiences with friends, neighbors, and family. Olive’s behavior has totally mellowed out, in response.
It’s making me wonder, are there other places in my life where I’m trying to be so cool, laid back, and non-reactive, that are actually kind of a big deal? Maybe if I can give those areas some breathing room, they will blossom, like my child is doing right now. How about you – is there anything in your life you are trying to pass off as par for the course, which is actually a huge change that needs acknowledgement and space?